tv Headline News RT August 5, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm EDT
video for your media project c.e.o. don carty dot com. coming up on r t a new report reveals how house members are left in the dark about the price a court and members of congress are pushing for legislation that would allow internet companies to reveal information about the data requests they get from government more on these developments ahead. plus there's another expansion of the surveillance state in the u.s. this time it's the drug enforcement administration will dive into what the agency is accused of doing coming up. and the supreme court ruled that california must release nearly ten thousand prisoners from its overcrowded prison system the release will come as a mass hunger strike continues in some california prisons and update on both sides of this story later on in the show.
hello there it's monday august fifth four pm here in washington d.c. i'm marinate and you're watching our two. new reports over the weekend from the guardian show that house members looking for more information about vice accords were turned down by the house intelligence committee repeatedly now according to these reports the house intel committee also considered censuring congressman alan grayson of florida for distributing guardian reports of n.s.a. slides now this is information that's already published in major international newspapers now to house members representative morgan griffith of virginia and representative alan grayson repeatedly requested information about the n.s.a. from the house intelligence committee both congressman's were both congressmen and were denied access by the committee which turned down their requests for the secret voice with a secret voice vote which they also were not allowed to see now the two congressmen
sent their attempts to get more information to the guardian meanwhile as lawmakers are seeking more information about the intelligence community's actions the introduction of legislation intended to create more transparency around surveillance continues friday congresswoman and zoe loftier and of california introduced the surveillance order reporting. the act intends to quote permit periodic public reporting by electronic communication provide communications providers and remote computer service providers of certain estimates pertaining to requests or demands by federal agencies under the provisions of certain surveillance laws or disclosure of such estimates is or may be otherwise for hit by a law now the bill if passed into law would be a small step towards truly exposing how government spying programs work and what is done with the user data are currently being siphoned from consumer tech companies now for more i'm joined by political commentator sam sachs in studio to discuss sam thank you for being here who are now what what differentiates this bill from all
the other pieces of legislation that we've been seeing recently all of which attempt to curtail the level of government surveillance routes are we going to see two avenues developing here we have legislation the treasury more trade. parents seeing to n.s.a. program and into the pfizer court and that's kind of what congresswoman's or law firms bill is doing. we heard of arise in the court over the force rise to hand over millions of customers information over to the government what. bill would do is allow companies like arisan internet companies phone companies to make public just how many requests they're getting for the go from the government to hand over their users data and how many users are being affected by that senator al franken in the senate has similar legislation that would do that as well as and also force the government to reveal just how many how many people are being affected by these this kind of these surveillance programs and then all this other avenue you have people trying not just to have more transparency but to actually rein in the n.s.a.
you have congressman rush holt to repeal the patriot act in the five amendments act you have senator leahy the chair of the judiciary committee trying to shrink section to fifteen kind of. you know make it more restrictions on what the n.s.a. can do with that section so you kind of see these two different avenues forming on congress of what to do with edward snowden's leaks essentially interesting now what would this bill give tell what this bill give telecommunications companies the right to deny the government access to any requests you know this is it just simply going to allow them to tell in these telecommunications companies are put on a gag order when they receive this order they can't tell who their users that they're handing over their information they can't tell anyone this bill would allow these companies to at least reveal how many of their users are being affected by this but still the telecom communications companies there's all sorts of tricks that the government uses to make sure that they play ball to hand over the data that they want now first event foremost how do these latest revelations kind of
jive with the previous claims that were made by the president of the intel committee that members have enough information about these programs to conduct proper proper oversight is that just nonsense do they have enough would they be asking for more if they hadn't. i mean it is piers that most members don't have near the amount i mean the president said the congress has oversight will congress if it requires all of congress to pass legislation it's not just a select group of members on the both intelligence committees that are passing legislation so all members need to know what these programs are doing if they're going to make an informed votes but what these latest revelations show is that the intel committees are acting like gate keepers denying certain members information that they need to make a vote and you wonder whether or not it's because congressman grayson gryphus the people who asked for this information you wonder if the intel committee denied it because this information was too sensitive or if they denied it because they didn't trust these particular members with that information kind of makes for this sort of cliquey organization there in congress and ultimately this a whole problem is we have a top secret n.s.a. program that we don't have information about we have
a top secret pfizer court that rubber stamps a lot of these and say programs and now we're supposed to think that it's all ok because we have a top secret house and senate intelligence committee that's providing oversight i don't think many people are going to go for that right now our members of the intel committee reacting to all of this well they're denying it as they would senator ruppersberger or senator or congressman ruppersberger senator chambliss and congressman king they're all members of the intelligence committees they all said oh these are members their own fault that they don't have this information we constantly make this information available that's not exactly true congressman justin amash has been sort of leading the effort to defund a lot of these honestly programs responded by saying yeah they'll send out an e-mail saying that these documents are available for three hours on this particular day if you want to show up and look at it it's doesn't really go with house protocol on how to how to brief members of congress on these issues ok now someone i found extremely interesting representative gray's grace and he was reprimanded or he was going to be punished they said they would punish him for distributing
snowden's leaked n.s.a. power point slides what do you make of this it's pretty absurd these are these are these are documents that everybody who has internet access or reads the guardian can. that. in the congressman congressman grayson the house is saying you can't look at this the people who are again in charge of oversight can look at this this is also similar to members of the military it was reported i think last month that members of the military have access to the guardian's website blocked where they can look at these documents so really the government intelligence community committees are still living in denial that these documents are out there and not only should should the congressman be allowed to see these documents be showing these documents to his fellow colleagues but he has an obligation to be doing this to if he is going to be making informed votes and critical overseas right now we've seen a lot of for his legislation from lawmakers that based on these n.s.a. leaks which is kind of crazy it's the same lawmakers that are talking about reprimanding are punishing or doing whatever it is they can do to edward snowden
what you make of this good this is an interesting kind of dynamic happening on with with lawmakers here is they want to take these leaks and they want to do something to receive letters of flurry of legislation on top of who were guarding these leaks the same time they want to separate the the leaks from the leaker and we've spoken with a lot of members of congress about this issue when we have a report here on how they are managing to separate edward snowden from his leaks. as far as congress is concerned sure he's a whistle blower he told us what we need to know that was congressman justin amash calling edward snowden a whistleblower and giving some rare praise to the man who's change the debate in washington other lawmakers and public figures haven't been so fond of snowden so he's a trainer in your eyes he's known here absolutely he's a traitor what do you think about what snowden i think he's a traitor some tough words for edward snowden he's a traitor that despite these objections to snowden there's legislation afoot on capitol hill right now that would have had a chance of passing or even getting
a committee hearing have you not been for these leaks about the n.s.a. the pi's accord and yet there's lawmakers who've taken the most advantage of these leaks to write this legislation are unwilling to give any praise to edward snowden house intelligence committee member congressman adam schiff managers introduced a number of reforms to the fight as a court had this to say about snowden we don't condone or can't condone people deciding for themselves what to declassify that would not allow us to have any kind of a national security system so i think we have to take that very seriously just as that we took the manning case very seriously on the other side of the hill senator richard blumenthal corps who's introduced his own set of eyes a court reforms for also condemned snowden's actions snowden and anyone could have raised these issues in the way that was done without breaking the law as he allegedly did but a new poll shows most americans disagree when asked if snowden is a whistleblower fifty five percent said he was thirty four percent called snowden
a traitor and meanwhile other lawmakers have taken a more nuanced approach tedward snowden the congressman rush holt who's used snowden's leaks to introduce the surveillance state repeal act repealing both the patriot act in the amendments act believe snowden only broke the law in so much as the law is insufficient to protect whistleblowers in our intelligence agencies clearly he broke the law as it is. part of what my legislation does is change the whistleblower protection so that people who work in the intelligence community have whistleblower protection just like employees in other parts of the federal government and we particularly need it there because so much of that work is done in secret and unless a whistleblower comes forward there's no way that you know the public or congress can know what's going on and conduct oversight so if there had been good whistleblower protection. would not be in this situation that he has
now congressman keith ellison who supported the air marshal minutes claims to work with the progressive caucus to reform n.s.a. surveillance this to say about snowden i think when you engage in what you believe is. a active not of knives violent civil disobedience you know then consequences are going to flow but i believe there are people who will take those consequences for the greater good i think that martin luther king there was a don't arrest me you know so i think that in this to stone should get some good lawyers and should argue that you know that he had that he had some legal justification for this so for the most part congress doesn't want to give edward snowden any credit but as long as they're listening to his message and acting on his message by writing legislation but it doesn't much matter what congress thinks of the messenger because ultimately both edward snowden and some of these lawmakers probably agree on one larger point that this was never about edward snowden in
washington same socks are to. we have a quick programming note for you now tomorrow is the six month anniversary of the hunger strike at guantanamo bay and our team is planning extensive coverage. the guantanamo bay detention facility is now over eleven years old the broken presidential promises the congressional subtotal the never ending war on terror forces that have conspired together to keep this prison open it will be but now a hunger strike there is the tear it all down because this hunger strike there six months or two takes a closer look at the prison just to be close. again that is tomorrow here on our t.v. in other news a secret drug enforcement administration unit is funneling information from intelligence what intercepts wiretaps informants and
a massive database of telephone records to thirty's across the nation now this data is used to help them launch criminal investigations of american citizens now although these cases are rarely involve national security issues documents reviewed by reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how these investigations truly begin and they are told to conceal this information not only from defense lawyers but also from prosecutors and judges now these documents show that federal agents are trying to quote recreate the investigative path in order to effectively cover up where the information came from this is a practice that some experts say violates the defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial and without knowing exactly how an investigation began defense lawyers are working with their hands tied behind their backs it's close to impossible for the defendant to know what evidence to revisit and which potential potential sources for review now all of which could be revealed could reveal mistakes bias
witnesses or entrapment on the part of the prosecution now this d.a. program has been dubbed the special operations division or s.o.g. and it's comprised of over two dozen partner partnership agencies including the f.b.i. cia. and as they enter the revenue service and the department of homeland security security now joining me now in studio to discuss this secret of agencies is matthew feeney assistant editor at reason twenty four seven as you thank you for being here thanks for having me on now first off let's say how long has this practice been going on well i mean the special operations division that is mentioned was actually established to fight drug cartels in the ninety's i believe in latin america but since then it's grown from a couple dozen employees and administrations to actually now covering hundreds well that's a lot and this is something that started well over a decade ago telling them to go on for this long now does this program point blank infringe on someone's fourth amendment rights from the information i see i think it
does i think any constitutional system that is supposed to support civil liberties should allow all citizens when the charge for trying to actually view the evidence presented against them and know how it was acquired but this doesn't actually doesn't allow for that at all and as you reported actually agents from the d.a. are encouraged to in effect to sort of make up or to recreate the evidence against people being charged with crimes and that should worry people credible findings now the new york times this weekend they came out of the report that other agencies like the da da they've been very interested in getting n.s.a. data and this is for their own investigations but the n.s.a. has been very very locked in and has given limited data or. lived up to those requests what do you have to say about this i don't really care whether it's a lot of the information that they've been asking for his end of the information they've been asking for especially considering the edward snowden revelations a lot of americans have probably been assuming it seems wrongly that the national
security agency is actually not just concerned with national scale and national security is actually giving information to the drug enforcement administration for domestic. investigations and you would hope especially organizations like the cia n.s.a. would be in primarily concerned with international threats to national security but it doesn't seem to be that way at all so would you say that maybe depending upon which government arm is asking for it the n.s.a. has been more generous than we thought originally with handing out information i mean it's certainly seems i would agree especially considering that it seems constitutional rights could have been violated i mean i'm someone who doesn't think that the da should really be around at all but if we're going to have it if there's going to be this war on drugs then let's try and keep to the constitution as much as we can. have it and much of the work is it's classified and official when officials have asked that it's presented location be identified they won't give it up you know somewhere in virginia but they don't want to say where exactly
it is what your thoughts on that are i'm i mean maybe i'm in a minority on this but i just think the u.s. government classifies far too much information and i think we've this is was come to light last week during the bradley manning trial and what snowden and i just think we need to stop classifying as much information is. currently is i mean the location of the somewhere really not sure why this is people who are the n.s.a. is people know where the cia headquarters and we people know where the president's vacation is i really don't understand this overclassification at all now interesting now the d.a. fishel sort of spoke on behalf of the agency but only on condition of anonymity right don't want their names out there. now they said the process is kept secret to quote protect sources and investigative. methods what are your thoughts on protecting sources and investigative methods well i think the investigative methods and sources should be kept secret but you have to take home blame us for being suspicious given the amount of secrecy surrounding this i have no doubt that
a lot of these investigations very sensitive and that people's lives could be at risk if some stuff isn't kept close to roust but i still think it's worth making sure that the process by which this stuff is classified top secret is legitimate and you know it was works within the framework of our constitution now do you think the da is the only government agency that is kind of using n.s.a. data or there's other agencies out there that are also using it as kind of goes back to what was going about i wouldn't be surprised now i'm going to know now probably probably more out there right now the n.s.a. is investigating national security threats while the d.a. there are largely going after the mail drug criminals and things that nature is there a difference in the way we should evaluate who gets top secret information absolutely i think that's absolutely really necessary and i don't really doubt the occasional d d a investigation requires access to top secret information i mean it seems like it must be incredibly rare but a small side of possibility but if that is the case i do think this decision of
this reuters report shows that the news just need to be far more transparency about how it happened and do you think do you have any thoughts on how that could happen . well look i mean the amount of talk this been recently about classified information and government secrecy shows that i mean frankly a lot of it just seems like beyond help at this point but you know i think there should be some sort of investigation into this but how long that would take off or even happened i don't know if you need thank you for joining us we appreciate your insight but i was matthew feeney assistant editor at reason twenty four seven. activists in twenty cities across the country took to the streets on sunday to protest the national security administration's surveillance programs it was the second day of national protest by privacy campaigners against the n.s.a. similar demonstrations were held on july fourth following edward snowden's revelations about the n.s.a. spying programs and our t. correspondent sees me on
a stasia china was in new york city yesterday and brings us the latest from the rally there. that's ok. i didn't actually in over a dozen cities across the west inspired by george orwell's novel nineteen eighty-four an anti utopia written over a half a century ago about mass surveillance so frightening it sends shivers down a reader spine these protesters say apparently the u.s. government has been using it as a manual theme of this one is about the surveillance and the fourth amendment that says you know we're losing our country because i'm really sad about that this is one of the many demonstrations concept i have manged americans are out on to the streets to make their lives right back what do you think we're to specifically you guys can do about us i mean do you think the subways can be venturing less this is one part of the process right here marching on the streets raising awareness for calling congressmen letting them know that this is not something that we stand for
and it should not be done in our name but of course comes out very very with a thirty year old law firm or s a contractor edward snowden that the national security agency was has been conducting sweeping something inside millions of americans and foreigners around the world and these people are now marching in the streets of new york to say they want to hand us of the surveillance state of the n.s.a. is collecting information of every american regardless of whether they're suspected the jury is wrong or of any british stationary the illegal there's going to everyone's information and the fourth amendment says that they can't say got to be patient there was ever reason to believe that you are have committed a crime i am very concerned about the volume of surveillance that is not performed by the national security administration we know more and more about what's going on but we still don't understand a lot of the technical details underlying it protesters are now chanting outside eighteen t's offices one of many companies that the n.s.a.
was able to retract information from about u.s. citizens phone calls being. messages being sent the length of the phone calls being made as well as where the people were speaking all of these major concerns for u.s. citizens now coming onto the streets to basically tell the government that they found enough and they will not stop coming out to protest until their mates message is heard we are outraged we're outraged that we're still learning to what extent all of our contacts telephone calls our. shots on line are being monitored and we're not happy with this these protests urbanites by a group called the store they were the grassroots up privacy rights movement that demanded the restoration of the fourth amendment to the us constitution that prohibits reasonable seizure and searches all these people are on the streets because they say it was the government was really not been playing its role the way it should and has forgotten about the rights of its citizens is this it you're
going to see. in other news a divided supreme court ruled on friday that california must proceed with the release of nearly ten thousand prisoners from its overcrowded prison system now the supreme court refused to grant california an extension on an order issued by the justices more than two years ago for the state for the state to release some ten thousand inmates from its overcrowded prisons the high court's original may two thousand and eleven ruling held that congested conditions in california thirty three prisons amounted to cruel and unusual unusual punishment as defined by the eighth amendment now the court gave the state two years to comply with an order to free the prisoners and alleviate the overcrowding in california however they argued that it had made some progress on the problem and should be given more time to comply last week the state said the process of to begin identifying thousands of inmates who are near the end of their prison term and are at the lower end of risk for committing new crimes if released would take about two weeks to finish artie's
ramon glinda joins me now live from l.a. with more ramon how are you. great aaron good to be here and now what does this supreme court decision mean for california's prison population. as you mentioned there was a divided opinion but all the efforts by the state of california to reduce its prison population what it has done over the last couple of years is reduce it by tens of thousands of people and has invested billions of dollars in health services however the supreme court says that's not nearly enough and we have to remember that a couple of years ago in their decision ordering this reduction of prisoners they said that the conditions are causing death and suffering and so if they have doubled down on their decision you can only imagine that the same is still happening right now now the department of corrections says that they're going to fight this but the state can't i mean if if they do not reduce the population by
nearly ten thousand by the end of the year the governor could be held in contempt so really right now the state's trying to come up with a plan to let go more nonviolent offenders older inmates and an unfortunate going to have to ship a lot of these inmates out of state or even to private prisons now what has led to california's overcrowding problem to begin with. sure well just to give you an idea of how much the inmate population has exploded in the mid one nine hundred seventy s. there were twenty thousand inmates in california's state prisons that exploded to one hundred seventy three thousand in two thousand and seven at its peak that's an increase of seven hundred or seven hundred percent excuse me so this is not a problem that just happened overnight i mean this really got started with the drug war in the seventies and really in the eighty's and ninety's when there were some very high profile crimes in the news of repeat offenders that really spurred lawmakers to be these tough on crime lawmakers just really competing to be who can
be more of a tough on law legislator really led to more laws that really captured more of the population into the system that combined with harsher sentences and much longer terms really contributed very much to this explosion that we're seeing right now now we're going to throw a graphic up on the screen for you guys here's a look at the california prison population and the one the one point that jumped out to me currently it's at one hundred fifty percent capacity and the supreme court of the united states requires it to be at one hundred and one hundred thirty seven point five percent so basically even if the california prison system does follow the supreme court ruling will it still be way above capacity and if so what does that mean for the rehabilitation of those prisoners. no you know that i mean that's really disturbing because even of california is evil able to meet the standards every single prison in the system is still going to be way over capacity
so and we have to remember too where this this charge of cruel and unusual punishment comes from this comes from a lawsuit where inmates were suing the state because. mental inmates who have mental disabilities were not getting the proper care and just regular inmates who had any sort of injury or illness were not getting the proper care and and the justices ruled that there were deaths happening because of improper medical care so given the fact that even with their order the prisons are still going to be way over capacity there's still a lot of opportunity for for abuse going on inside there now was our t.v. correspondent ramon go and thank you ramon. that doesn't for now for more on the stories we covered you can go to youtube dot com forward slash r.t. america and check out our web site r t dot com for a slash usa you can also follow me on twitter at aaron aid stay tune prime interest
is coming up. merican of long seen latin and south america as part of their geopolitical back your stereotype stuck hard but new realities on the ground give reason to believe this continent is on the rise and determined to control its own fate would guard less of washington's unilateral perceived interests and given the trends should americans be learning spanish. at least.
good afternoon and welcome to prime interest i'm perry i'm boring and i am good let's get to today's headlines. h.s.b.c. has a fire and the pope one of the world's largest brisbane's was actually founded in hong kong and shanghai that's where the h.s. and h.s.b.c. come from but now they've decided to cancel the accounts that belong to forty consulates and embassies including that of the vatican well this is thrown the diplomatic arena into disarray as they are know for supplying another too big to fail bank and the questions as always are why why no remember that four to four point two billion dollars fine for the legit be facilitating money laundering to let drug drug cartels perhaps h.s.b.c. is just getting ahead of the next group.